Covell Funeral Home

232 East State Street, Traverse City, MI


Daniel Lee Sanderson

August 8, 1958April 20, 2020

Daniel Lee Sanderson, age 61 of Traverse City passed away unexpectedly April 20, 2020. Dan was born on Aug. 8, 1958 in Bridgeport, MI. to Max and Mary (Baudoux) Sanderson. He grew up in Bridgeport, and graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1976. Following graduation, he traveled to Boston where he attended Berkley University for a short period before returning to Michigan in 1983. Dan was a very skilled craftsman, and enjoyed working with wood. He owned his own business, Sanderson Woodcraft from 1992 until 2002 and his custom kitchens were featured in the parade of homes. A Mel Brooks kind of guy, he enjoyed a quirky sense of humor and loved jazz and big band music. He was a member of a band “Koriala” where he played the trombone. Often he would be relaxing watching Jeopardy on TV, and enjoying a glass of wine and fine cigar. Let us also not forget the abundance of ice cream that he somehow managed to pack into a coffee mug. Dan also cherished his faithful companions throughout the years, Smokey, Jasper, Buddy and Rocky, all of whom were black labs. A memorial tribute will be held later in the summer at Nolans Tobacco and Cigar Bar where all friends may gather to share stories and memories. Dan is survived by his children; Alex, Sam, Brianna and Brittany, and their mother, Lisa Yost, who he remained close friends with. Also surviving is his mother Mary Sanderson, brothers; Terry, Tim (Tammy), and Tom, sister; LuAnn (Scott) Rozema, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father in 2001. Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to the Mesothelioma Foundation. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.


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Daniel Lee Sanderson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ian Disbrow

May 26, 2020

Dan's family.
You have my deepest sympathies. I don't know you. But I knew your Dad. He was very kind to me from the first time I encountered him in the lounge. Always had a joke or just a humorous twinkle in his eyes. Several years ago I found out I had Diabetes and I was soberly telling another patron about it when your Dad walked around the cabinet, took his cigar out of his mouth, pointed it at me and said, "does this mean I can call you sweet pea"! I needed that laugh. The next week the nickname was on my Nolan's coffee cup. Nothing I could say will take the hurt away. But I hope this story of your Father and Husband's kind and humorous gestures will round the rough edges a little. Best wishes. Ian "sweet pea" Disbrow

Brian Packham

April 26, 2020

I am so sad to hear of Dan’s very untimely passing. My deepest sympathies to his entire family. I played music with Dan in the band Koriala and he was very much a mentor to me. I learned much about running a working band/business, how to deal with ups and downs, both on the gig and the curveballs of life — All with a wry smile and twinkle in the eye. Also he was just plain fun to be around and to play music with. Later through the magic of Facebook we were able to reconnect and a few years ago I had occasion to be in Traverse City with my son and Dan was kind enough to take time to hang out with us for a few hours. I will miss him, but am very grateful to have had him in my life. Rest well and in good peace my friend

Logan Laubach

April 25, 2020

Alex, Sam, Brianna, Brittany, & Lisa - I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and I hope you all are able to find some level of comfort from the memories you and others have and will continue to share. It was the running joke between our families that I was the Sanderson’s “adopted son.” Growing up I spent more time at their house than at my own. I echo the memories of many with Dan’s hilarious one-liners and love of fine cigars, however, my fondest memories stem from spending countless long weekends and vacations with the Sanderson family. From the very beginning Dan was welcoming, warm-hearted, funny, generous, and you could tell he really cared and wanted the best for everyone in his family. Thank you Dan for welcoming me into your family and treating me like a son, I’ll always cherish the childhood memories created with you and your family.

Michael Shapow

April 24, 2020

My condolences to Dan’s family. I remember Dan in high school and especially during marching band practices and performances. He always made us laugh with his jokes and antics. He was fun to be around. May you find peace.

Samuel Sanderson

April 24, 2020

Pops, I will always remember how you use to call me Fuzzball and Sammy amongst other nicknames.
I will remember your knowledge of useless facts and how you more or less did every school project “with” me. And by with me I, of course, mean you would come up with an extravagant plan that I, as a 4th grader, would never come up with or make on my own.
I will remember how you would ruin song lyrics, such as “ra ra ramen noodles” instead of “ra ra ah ah ah”
I will remember when you got a bill for $0.00 and wrote a check for zero dollars and mailed it out. And all the stories you shared about your childhood.
We had our ups and downs, good and bad times. I’ll forever hold the good in my mind. The laughs and the smiles and how proud of me you told me you were.
I’ll miss you and love you forever.

Sabrina Stambaugh

April 24, 2020

Dan welcomed me into his home with open arms. I loved watching him find enjoyment helping Alex with his wood working. We laughed a lot at stories he would tell me about his kids growing up but also of his own childhood. There are few people that enjoy a true “dad joke” as much as him. He introduced me to Live PD where we would always shout the silly things we would hear people say. I will miss him forever. My heart breaks for and with his family. I love you all.

Nancy Sanderson

April 24, 2020

Alex, Sam, Brianna, Brittany, and Lisa — I am so sorry for your unexpected tragedy. Danny was one of the funniest people I knew. I am going to miss his random calls to tell me something hilarious. May he Rest In Peace with Grampa Max.

Doug Perkins

April 24, 2020

I join the others in my shock of Dan's passing. It was way too soon. Since hearing the news I've had several days of sad thoughts followed overwhelmingly by treasured memories of our time together. He was one of my best friends in high school and afterwards. His lighthearted demeanor and incredible sense of humor still flood my memories. Especially the countless nights drinking coffee until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I would have to punch him in the arm to stop him from making me laugh so hard. We roofed together in the summers and way too many times I found either my pant leg or tool pouch nailed to the roof. It's a wonder we ever got anything done.
I will miss you Dan and think of you often. Looking forward to seeing you again when this life is over. Keep the coffee pot warm my friend.
To Mrs. Sanderson and Family, may the Lord give and grant you His peace during this difficult time.

Julie Duffing

April 23, 2020

I was beyond shocked at Dan’s passing and couldn’t believe it when my sister shared the bad news. Dan was such a calming presence in my sisters life and tried often to get me to convince her to marry him. After traveling to Florida together last spring I saw what my sister enjoyed about him - easy going, humorous, and even his love of those stinky cigars. He will be missed by many! Rest Easy Dan!
The Duffing Family

David Fordyce

April 23, 2020

Such a shock, and my deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Dan was a marvelous and beloved friend for over 45 years. We went to school together, played in bands together, double-dated together, worked together, and sorted out our ups and downs together. Mainly, we did a lot of horsing around and prank-pulling no matter where we were. He was there like only a true friend can be there. We lost track of one another somewhat when he headed east and I headed west after school, but after we both came home to Michigan and started families, we picked up right where we had left off.
As many have observed, Dan's sense of humor was immense. He sat behind me in American Lit. and watched as I read Old Man and the Sea, keeping track of my progress through the pages. The day I was about to turn the page for the climatic scene, Dan tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "Did you get to the part where the shark eats the old man's fish yet?" -- shattering Hemingway's suspenseful build-up. I could have punched him, except I was too out of control laughing, that he had spent days waiting for me to get to the right page to pull his prank. Even the teacher could not contain herself. I could tell a hundred more.
Nobody will ever replace him, and I will miss him dearly. Love you, my friend, and know I will see you again on the other side. Until then, fare thee well!


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